Communication is vital in creating and maintaining a relationship, whether it be an intimate relationship such as with a partner, child, or friend or a professional relationship such as with a co-worker, supervisor, or client. Your communication skills affect how you solve problems, how you resolve conflict, and the level of trust you generate in your relationships. A lack of communication may result in confusion, misunderstandings, and the development of poor communication patterns.
Here are certain strategies to help you foster effective communication skills to build healthy relationships.
- Trust – Accept each others words. Give benefit of doubt.
- Accountability – Admit mistakes for when wrong. Accept responsibility for behaviours, attitudes and values.
- Safety – Refuse to be intimidated or manipulated. Respect each others physical space. Expressing self non – violently.
- Cooperation – Ask rather than expecting. Accept change. Make decisions together. Be willing to compromise. Win win resolutions to avoid conflict.
- Support – Support each others choices. Be understanding. Offer encouragement. Listening non- judgementally. Value others opinion.
- Honesty – Communicate openly and truthfully.
Assertiveness is sometimes confused with aggression. Assertive behaviour promotes mutual respect and results in trust, acceptance and cooperation. Aggressive behaviour promotes self interest at the expense of others and
results in hostility, mistrust, disrespect and obstructiveness.